Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Lake Creek and Golden Aspens
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Lake Creek and Golden Aspens
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 120mm Schneider Super-Symmar HM f/5.6 lens, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 2 exposures, 143 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Lake Creek and Golden Aspens

CO 82 near The Cauldron Rapid, Twin Lakes, CO, 9/27/2011

On the final afternoon of an autumn photography expedition through Colorado, I explored the countryside along state highway 82, heading west toward Independence Pass and Aspen. I never made it to Independence Pass or Aspen but I did stop to admire this view of golden aspens and Lake Creek just west of Twin Lakes in the Isabel National Forest. We're at 9,320 feet above sea level. In the distance at left is the ascent to Rinker Peak and further away at right is the ascent to Lackawanna Peak. Even at low flow in autumn, Lake Creek - a tributary of the Arkansas River - looks more like a river to me than a creek. It is well known among whitewater kayakers who enjoy this run during the high flow time of year: late spring through early summer. Apparently this is one very wild and dangerous creek to travel. According to a description I found: The "easy" part of the run is rated Class V+, and then it really gets wild. Lake Creek is definitely not a place for canoes and rafts, or for kayakers with less than expert whitewater skills. This is no classroom - this is a professional grade extreme creek run! Few Colorado streams flow at this elevation. Running about 9 miles, Lake Creek winds through the mountains above Twin Lakes with a constantly changing gradient that varies from a low of 60 feet per minute to a high of 215 feet per minute. The water is cold, turbulent, and strewn with huge boulders, log jams, undercut rock ledges, big holes, strong cross currents, blind drops and turns, and plenty of other things that can prove disastrous. It also has some spots of tame water that can lull a paddler into complacency just before delivering a serious wake-up call! I was content to simply admire this beautiful creek from the safety of a large stationary boulder.

Lake Creek and Golden Aspens

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